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8 Leading Women in Sustainability

March 4, 2021
Carla Lin

8 Leading Women in Sustainability

From the fashion industry to the corporate world, here are some of the women that we are admiring as key opinion leaders who are taking matters into their own hands. Sustainability is becoming less of a competitive edge or ‘nice-to-have’ business component, in recent years it has become more of a fundamental requirement.

1.Greta Thurnburg - Climate Youth Activist and Time’s Person of the Year

At only 18 Greta has become one of the biggest household names in recent years. Known for her witty responses to Donald Trump on Twitter, to moving speeches at leading conferences. Forbes listed her on their 30 under 30 social entrepreneurs. It all started when she initiated a global movement by skipping school with a sign post in her hand and over the past few years she has inspired millions of people to become more aware of their impact on the environment. Greta was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and named Time’s Person of the Year.


2. Audrey Choi - CMO and CSO, Morgan Stanley

Audrey spent some time as domestic policy adviser to Vice President Al Gore and as Morgan Stanley's first ever CSO, she is responsible for promoting the idea of global sustainability through capital markets.

"We believe that a truly sustainable business is financially, as well as environmentally and socially, sustainable”. 

3.Victoria Prew - Co-Founder and CEO of HURR 

HURR is the fashion marketplace changing the way we wear. Recognised as Drapers “30 Under 30”, Victoria was the first to tap into the booming circular economy, spearheading rental fashion and shifts in Millennial and Gen-Z behaviour.

HURR is on a mission to reinvent ownership and provide all the short-cuts to a sustainable wardrobe. Disrupting the £21 billion UK fashion industry, HURR has been named one of the world’s “Top 50 retail-tech startups” and the “Airbnb of Fashion” by Forbes.


4. Eileen Fisher - Fashion Designer

Eileen Fisher is arguably the leading force in sustainable fashion by creating sustainable apparel. The brand has a strong commitment to creating organic and sustainable fibres, manufacturing clothing in the USA, and recycling clothes with the ReNew program. Eileen launched the “Waste No More” goal that works to make the world better through the creation of fashion instead of constantly depleting from it. 


5. Emma Watson - Model, Actress, Activist

Emma started out as Hermione from Harry Potter and has turned into a powerhouse and inspiration in the environmental and feminist movements. As a model, actress, and activist, she signed the "Green Carpet Challenge," in 2015 which pledges to only wear outfits made by sustainable designers to public media events. Her voice in the industry is loud and defiant as she continues to inspire people globally, particularly her young following.


6. Stella McCartney - Fashion Designer 

Stella McCartney is a world renowned fashion designer with a strong sustainable core in her brand. Her brand’s sustainable fashion strategy has 4 fundamental pillars:

  • 1. Respect for nature: Materials are sourced as sustainably as possible such as cashmere, organic cotton or fibers from the forest.
  • 2. Respect for people: Each person has been taken into consideration, from the farmers who grow the crops in the supply chain to the customer.
  • 3. Respect for animals: Stella McCartney is a vegetarian brand and advocates for cruelty free methods.
  • 4. Circular Solutions: The brand follows the principles of circular fashion by using regenerative and restorative production methods.

7. Ayesha Barenblat - Founder and CEO of Remake

Ayesha has over a decade of leadership promoting social justice and sustainability within the fashion industry. She founded Remake to ignite a conscious consumer movement into upcycling, since overconsumption has become such a prominent issue. 

“I founded Remake because I truly believe that fashion can be a force for good. How we buy is how we vote. Cheap disposable clothes exploits her, and keeps her trapped in a cycle of poverty. Slow fashion is a way to lift her out of poverty. How will you vote?”


8. Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson - Marine Biologist, Policy Expert, and CEO of Ocean Collectiv

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, writer, and Brooklyn native. She is founder and CEO of Ocean Collectiv, a consulting firm for conservation solutions grounded in social justice, and founder of Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for coastal cities. You’ll find her at the nexus of science, policy, and communication, building community around climate solutions.


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